Lord to lead Naropa University
By Emma Fidel And Elise Quinones, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Thursday, April 9, 2009
Stuart Lord, associate provost and former dean of the Tucker Foundation, will leave the College to become the president of Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., the College announced on Wednesday. Lord, who has worked at Dartmouth for nine years, will assume his new position at Naropa on July 1.
Lord will serve as Naropa's fifth president, according to the university's web site. He will replace current president Thomas Coburn, who announced in May 2008 that he would step down from the presidency after serving for six years.
Naropa is dedicated primarily to "contemplative education," which is rooted in Buddhist practices, Andrew Davison, a member of the university's Board of Trustees, said.
"It is the deep study in knowing oneself, meditation, spirituality and reflection," Davison said. "Contemplative practice is first about self mindfulness and awareness of your self, so that you can then help others."
Lord came to the College in 2000, and was named Virginia Rice Kelsey dean of Tucker, an endowed position. He also served as associate provost.
In August 2008, College Provost Barry Scherr announced that Lord would leave his position at Tucker to assume expanded responsibilities within the Provost's Office. College Chaplain Richard Crocker has since filled the Tucker dean position.
Lord told The Dartmouth at that time that he had enjoyed working at the Tucker Foundation but wanted to assume "broader" responsibilities at the College, and had been discussing expanding his role within the Provosts' Office for several years. Lord added that the new position would allow him to "work strategically" with different parts of campus, and particularly pointed to the goal of developing and managing the office's diversity plans, which were due for revision.
Lord's tenure as Tucker dean saw the rise of new initiatives including the Cross-Cultural Education and Service Program, which supports student volunteer efforts in Nicaragua, and Project Bangladesh, which has assisted an orphanage which suffered flood damages, according to a College press release.
Tucker's endowment also increased from $8 million to more than $21 million while Lord was dean, the release states.
Although he said other institutions often contacted him about positions during his time at the College, Lord told The Dartmouth he had not considered leaving Dartmouth until Naropa contacted him in February 2009.
"Now is a great time in my career to use the knowledge I've gained in all the places I've worked, and I have dreamed of being the leader of an institution," he said. "It is now time to follow what I have challenged students to do: take risks and use their talents to make a difference in the world," he said.
Crocker said he believes Lord will bring the enthusiasm that helped him to establish new programs at Tucker to his work at Naropa.
"It's been very clear that he's wanted to be a college president, and that's his ultimate ambition. I'm happy that he has that opportunity," Crocker said. "[Naropa is] a small place, and he will probably be able to arouse enthusiasm among a small student body in the same way that he did at Tucker."
Naropa's Board of Trustees conducted an "intense" search process for the university's next president, Davison said. Out of around 60 candidates, the board found 12 worthy of "further scrutiny," he said.
Lord was chosen because the results of the search process revealed that he had several qualities "in sync" with Naropa's values, Davison said. Lord's lifelong connection to Christian and Buddhist spirituality made him stand out among other candidates, Davison said.
Lord told The Dartmouth that he has mixed feelings about leaving his position at the College, despite his enthusiasm for his new position.
"In one sense, I'm excited about my opportunity to be engaged with Naropa, but at the same time, I have a deep sense that I'm going to miss a lot about Dartmouth," he said. "I am not leaving Dartmouth. I am just moving on to another opportunity and taking my fond memories of Dartmouth with me."